What It’s Like to Live in a Micro-Unit

by Lark Turner

What It's Like to Live in a Micro-Unit: Figure 1

What is it like to live in a 225 square foot apartment? How about a 225 square foot apartment inside a shopping mall?

Residents of the Providence Arcade in Rhode Island, where the very small apartments have been available to renters for two years, told Fair Companies about their experience in the units, which spread out over two floors above ground floor retail in the country’s oldest shopping mall. Pricing for the furnished units starts at $550 a month. The project was designed by Northeast Collaborative Architects.

What It's Like to Live in a Micro-Unit: Figure 2

Two of the women interviewed indicated that the units were more convenient than normal apartments, because both live in them part-time. Naz Karim, a doctor pursuing international emergency medicine, told the site she’ll be splitting her time between the unit in Providence and Rwanda. She said the lack of a stove — a measure intended to circumvent Rhode Island’s rules on the minimum allowable size of an apartment – didn’t bug her much. The unit “is really all you need for one person,” Karim said, noting she eats mostly canned soup and Lean Cuisine.

“(As a doctor), you’re so crazy-busy that you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, and you’re never really home,” she said. Still, the unit’s tiny closet “has been a struggle,” Karim admits.

What It's Like to Live in a Micro-Unit: Figure 3

Sharon Kinnier, a Baltimore-based business owner who works in a lab in Providence part-time, told Fair Companies the unit is the perfect size for her when she’s in town for work.

“You don’t have a lot to get dirty, you don’t have a lot to clean up,” she said, pointing at the bathroom and the bed. “OK, so, I missed the most important part: the kitchen. You have everything in here but a stove, and if you’re a single person in the city, chances are you’re not cooking anyway. I’ve never used the dishwasher because I’ve never had enough dishes dirty to actually put in the dishwasher.”

Photography by Ben Jacobsen.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/what_its_like_to_live_in_a_micro-studio_in_a_providence_mall/9851

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